The Tampa Bay Rays 1-8 start to the 2011 MLB season marked the worst start in franchise history, which is significant, considering the Rays have had some pretty terrible seasons. It’s a stark contrast to last season which saw the Rays win the American League East division narrowly edging out the Yankees.
It appears the American League East is upside down right now, the Orioles lead the division and the Red Sox have not gotten off to the start that almost everyone expected after their moves in the offseason.
But is it panic time in Boston and Tampa? After ten games, both teams sit at 2-8 on the year, but we’re not even finished April, shouldn’t Red Sox and Rays fans relax? Granted, both teams have played some terrible baseball, offensive production has been low, and pitching has been horrific for both teams.
I have a hard time believing that in a 162 game season a baseball team can seal its fate in the first ten games of the season. But apparently, the numbers prove me wrong. According to an ESPN article, the playoffs odd of the Red Sox and the Rays have taken a huge hit. Dan Szymborski notes in an ESPN article that dating back to 1995, the first year of expanded playoffs, there have been 128 playoff teams and of these 128 playoff teams, only three started 2-8 or worse: the 2007 Philadelphia Phillies, the 2001 Oakland Athletics and the 1995 Cincinnati Reds.
So according to the numbers, it really is getting desperate for both teams. For the Red Sox, pitching has been disappointing considering the starting rotation prior to the season was touted as one of the best in baseball.
It will be interesting to see how bookmakers treat the Red Sox and Rays from here on, considering these two teams are widely considered to be grossly underachieving.